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Habits of waste disposal are respectable in Valencia. The days of rubbish simply being thrown away on a large scale have long gone in Spain. In Valencia and efficient system of garbage collection has been in place for several years.

Large refuse containers are placed all across the city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods. They are colour coded and clearly marked to inspire locals to separate and dispose of their household waste conscientiously.

Plastic containers and bottles, coated packaging and metal cans belong in the yellow bins. Blue is for carton, cardboard, paper and magazines. Organic refuse is collected in the brown containers. Glass of every shape, size and colour belong in the green ones. Finally, nearly everything else lands in the black or grey containers.

Batteries should be returned to supermarkets, where a small drum is normally located somewhere near the cash till of a main exit doorway.

It is somewhat fascinating that most residents waste little time at the blue containers. Within a short period of time after collection, they can be full of boxes on their original shape, often spilling over onto the pavement. Flattening them would make a difference.

Larger objects can be placed on the street for collection. A call to the authorities is normally required but observation has shown that trash is removed anyway.

On the whole, recycling functions in Valencia. What definitely is missing and is in need of urgent change concerns, yes, plastic. Carrier bags are literally thrown at shoppers in fruit stores and markets. Furthermore, no deposit is required on plastic or glass bottles nor cans. No machines are available in supermarkets to recycle at source. Other countries are way, way ahead.

By Vincent Green, updated Feb 28 2024


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A fresh city guide for expats

Amazing Capitals Valencia is a fresh and informative location guide full of insights for expats. It is dedicated to helping internationals make choices, settle and participate in the capital of the autonomous Valencia Community. Spain’s third largest city is a great place to relocate to and offers enormous quality of life. Enjoy the eGuide.